Mother: An Unconventional History

Author:   Sarah Knott
Publisher:   Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN:  

9780241198605


Pages:   352
Publication Date:   07 March 2019
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
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Mother: An Unconventional History


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Overview

When acclaimed historian Sarah Knott became pregnant, she started looking for a history of motherhood - only to find that no such book exists. For centuries, historians have concerned themselves with wars and revolutions, not the everyday details of carrying and caring for a baby. These details matter- they shape our feelings and give structure to our hours. But they leave little historical trace. Much to do with becoming a mother, past or present, is lost or forgotten. Using the arc of her own experience, from miscarriage to the birth and early babyhood of her two children, Sarah Knott explores the changing traditions, experiences and cultural implications of motherhood. Drawing on diaries and letters, paintings and songs, Mother vividly brings to life the lost stories of both ordinary and extraordinary women - from the labour pains of a South Carolina field slave to the triumphant smile of a royal mistress pregnant with a king's first son - to create a moving depiction of a universal and endlessly various human experience.

Full Product Details

Author:   Sarah Knott
Publisher:   Penguin Books Ltd
Imprint:   Viking
Dimensions:   Width: 13.80cm , Height: 2.70cm , Length: 20.40cm
Weight:   0.378kg
ISBN:  

9780241198605


ISBN 10:   0241198607
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   07 March 2019
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Tertiary & Higher Education ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
We have confirmation that this item is in stock with the supplier. It will be ordered in for you and dispatched immediately.

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Reviews

Lyrically evocative and richly textured, Mother sets fragments of female lives over the last four centuries in Britain and North America within a narrative of Sarah Knott's own experiences to produce a remarkable history - exploratory, pointillist, and intensely personal - of what it is, and has been, to be a mother. -- Helen Castor, author of 'She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth' In this beautifully written book, Sarah Knott speaks from the vantage point of a mother and a historian. Full of stories ranging across time, space, and ethnicity, with imagery that touches all our senses, Mother captures the physicality and emotions of motherhood, so that even those of us who have never experienced it ourselves feel what it is like to get pregnant, give birth, and raise a child. -- Nancy Shoemaker, author of 'A Strange Likeness' This fabulous book manages both to recreate what those extraordinary early months of motherhood are like, and make sense of them by placing them in history. Knott's diary of motherhood is poetic: she conveys that sense that time has stopped, that only the baby's reflux matters, the heightened power of smell, the loss of self. The historical anecdotes Knott provides are riveting, and open up new ways of understanding what motherhood can be. The pace of it all is perfect - slow, and focused,- just as growth has its own imperceptible rhythms. This is a new kind of history-writing. A truly original, inspiring book. -- Lyndal Roper, author of 'Martin Luther, Renegade and Prophet' A remarkable book. Sarah Knott weaves an intimate account of becoming a mother into a richly-documented history of maternity. Eloquent and evocative, this is a book to savour and share with anyone who loves great history-writing. -- Barbara Taylor, author of 'Eve and the New Jerusalem' and 'The Last Asylum' In this innovative, grippingly readable history, Sarah Knott has woven a scintillating tapestry of ideas and experiences across time. Mother is a moving and enlightening meditation on the most elemental, yet ceaselessly varied, of all human bonds. -- Fara Dabhoiwala, author of 'The Origins of Sex' Fascinating and beautifully written. A book I will feverishly press on others - both as an exploration of unheard histories and as a companion to pregnancy and early motherhood -- Rebecca Schiller, author of Your No-Guilt Pregnancy Plan A stunning book. Mother: An Unconventional History is a dextrous blend of autobiography and anthropology and social history, but above all love and a woman's desire to be a mother. It is riveting from beginning to end -- Diane Atkinson, author of 'Rise Up Women!: The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes'


Fascinating and beautifully written. A book I will feverishly press on others - both as an exploration of unheard histories and as a companion to pregnancy and early motherhood -- Rebecca Schiller, author of Your No-Guilt Pregnancy Plan A stunning book. Mother: An Unconventional History is a dextrous blend of autobiography and anthropology and social history, but above all love and a woman's desire to be a mother. It is riveting from beginning to end -- Diane Atkinson, author of 'Rise Up Women!: The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes'


Author Information

Sarah Knott is an Oxford-trained academic historian. She currently teaches American and European history and the history of gender and motherhood at Indiana University. She has served as editor of the American Historical Review and in 2013 she was elected to the editorial board of the prestigious British journal Past and Present. She is the mother of two small children with fellow historian Konstantin Dierks.

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